Traffic authorities across the country are bracing themselves for increased traffic volumes as holidaymakers travel ahead of the upcoming Easter weekend.
Western Cape Transport MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela, at Wednesday’s launch of the provincial road safety plan in Brackenfell, warned motorists to obey the law.
“My officers will intensify their activities and will harshly enforce the law in relation to those who drive on our roads while under the influence. As a society, every one of us should take personal responsibility for our own behaviour as road users.”
Madikizela said the province’s roads were expected to get very busy during the Easter weekend.
“We will be stringently addressing habitual offenders who repeatedly break the law on our roads. As part of a first phase, we have been able to upload records of habitual offenders where vehicles that have 10 or more infringements recorded over the last six months will appear,” he said.
The Western Cape’s safety plan aims to prevent road accidents and infringements. It will also be implemented again over the upcoming public holidays including the Freedom Day and Worker’s Day long weekends.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, meanwhile, unveiled the national Easter Road Safety Campaign at the N3 weighbridge at Heidelberg in Johannesburg.
“Our roads are meant to enable access to both economic activities as well as social infrastructure and amenities. However, many-a-life is lost because of unbecoming conduct by those who choose to be reckless and undermine the rights of others with their conduct,” Mbalula said.
“It is truly tragic that most of those whose lives are lost during the Easter period are pedestrian youth, between the ages of 20 and 34 years,” the minister stressed.
In 2020, during the hard lockdown and with travel restrictions in place, 38 people died on the country’s roads.
Mbalula said from previous statistics it was established that the majority of fatal crashes happened at night.
“More than 70% of the hit and runs that occurred, happened at night. The country recorded 26 fatal accidents during Easter last year,” he added.
The minister said his department also planned on strengthening its e-law enforcement by investing in drones.
“These drones will help us proactively identify hazards on the roads and identify motorists who are driving recklessly and at unacceptably high speeds. Officers will then be deployed strategically to respond using the live intelligence supplied by this technology.”
He added that consultations were still ongoing with the justice crime prevention and security cluster to ensure that evidence gathered through the use of these drones were admissible and that it leads to a higher conviction rate.